Panaji, July 27 (IANS) Goa’s Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar on Wednesday used a Konkani racial slur, “khapri” for an African national, before quickly apologising and later addressing him as a “black person”.
Parulekar was responding to questions from reporters at the State Secretariat, about a controversy surrounding liquor licences allotted to foreign nationals in Goa.
“Even in Saligao, there is West-End (a night-club), a ‘khapri’ runs it, sorry a black person. His wife is from Goa and he is operating it using a licence in her name and a lot of South Africans come there and do many things. People oppose it, but by law, they are operating it using a genuine licence,” Parulekar said.
Khapri is a racial slur in Konkani, used to refer to those with dark skin. The origin of the word dates back to African soldiers who were posted in Goa during the colonial Portuguese regime.
This is not the first time that the use of the word “negro” has caused a stir in Goa.
Former Goa Chief Minister Ravi Naik referred to Nigerians as “negros” during a media interaction last month.
In August 2014, former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar apologised to the Goa legislative assembly after documents tabled by his ministry in the monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly referred to an African as “Negro”.